Saturday, January 03, 2009

Devastated


Yep, that is the word that best describes our mood on the farm right now. Since the beginning of this blog I have had so many joyful things to write about, but today devastated is all that I can come up with.

Yesterday evening we lost our herd sire Hershey (the picture above says a lot about his temperament). I'm not exactly sure what happened, but for the past three our four days things went down hill quickly. We called the vet, had the vet come out, administered some antibiotics, covered him with blankets, hand feed him alfalfa cubes, and built a tarp tent around him with an electric heater to get his body temperature back up (it was only slightly low). But, it seems like each hour we got weaker starting at about midnight two nights ago (or something like that).

We are having the vet do some checks to see if they can find a reason for his passing, but the vet says these types of things aren't always an exact science so we will just see what happens. I know one thing, I miss the big guy and knew that I would as I spent some late nights with him these past few days.

I believe he has most of our herd bred (except for the fall calvers), so I know that Hershey will live on at Stoneyfield (he also has at least one more progeny kicking around). But, that doesn't make this day any better. I am going to see about having our two cows AI'd or something and then we will begin a search again for another bull.

I will offer this perspective though ... last night when we put the kids down for bed and they did their prayers my son prayed, "Thank you for this wonderful day". "Wonderful" is about the last word I would use to describe a day like this, but maybe the eyes of a four-year-old can see something I can't. The vet did think the rest of the herd looked very nice, for what it is worth. We will press on... and continue...

9 comments:

Mrs Flam said...

I am sorry for your loss. I will keep you in my thoughts.

GreenRanchingMom said...

It is a though one to loose a good herdsire. Especially when you are first starting out and very attached. You should be able to find lots of people in your area to AI for you. If we were closer, I could help. I do know of a couple of people in your general area.

Good luck finding a new sire this spring.

Jena said...

Ugg, so sorry for your loss. What a horrible experience for you, especially now as you're just starting out. Try to look on the positive side - maybe somehow things will work out for the best! I know when our barn burned it took the wind right out of our sails but now we're making the best of it and rebuilding better than ever. Maybe you can use this as a chance to introduce some great new genetics.

I'm sure your vet thought of this but make sure he/she tests a fecal sample and of course bloodwork would be helpful if possible.

LisaMary said...

Our sympathies. Loss of something deeply cherished and loved is never easy.

Steven said...

I'm really sorry about your loss. Hershey will live on here, in our youngest calf too.

Rich said...

I’ve always thought that one of the best and at the same time also the worst things about farming is the boom and bust of harvests, the extremes of winter and summer, and the droughts and floods of the weather. It is hard to explain but I personally think that dealing with the ebbs and flows of good and bad luck usually tends to make me more optimistic about my future prospects around the farm.

Even though it is always a kick in the gut when something like this happens, I try to keep the long view (it can be hard at times), because even though there might be small defeats along the way, eventually there will be a victory. The small defeats that have to be overcome will make the victory much more meaningful.

Ethan Book said...

Thank you all for the kind words and encouragement.

Yeoman said...

"We are having the vet do some checks to see if they can find a reason for his passing, but the vet says these types of things aren't always an exact science so we will just see what happens."

Ah blast, how very true.

But your son's observation is truer yet.

Well, heck, one of the things about a farm, as grim as it may seem, is that it teaches us all, including the young, that death is part of life. I think that's a valuable lesson. Death is devastating, even when it's a valued animal, but your vet is right. Some years. . . .

But take heart, life keeps on keeping on, so it's time to get a new bull.

Steven said...

I think that the lady we got our bull from in boonville mo still has her herdsire for sale. He came from john potter. I can give you her email if you want it.

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